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“NOT A HOTEL FOR CHILDREN!”

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village
Certificate of Excellence
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“NOT A HOTEL FOR CHILDREN!”
Reviewed April 23, 2011

We stayed at a two bedroom villa in Kidani Village during spring break season, April 15th through April 22, 2011. The villa itself was very nice, with very comfortable beds. Housekeeping cleaned the room daily, and they did this early in the day. It was very quiet here because this accommodation is the farthest from the Disney parks. Regardless, the buses did come at least every 20 minutes, and we never had a long wait to go anywhere. Now the negatives. Others have mentioned that this resort is very poorly lit. That is correct. The lighting is very poor in both the hallways, in the lobby and in the villas. I asked different staff at the front desk multiple questions regarding multiple things such as tours around the hotel, etc. I found the staff at the front desk to be VERY UNHELPFUL AND UNINFORMED of just about everything. And, as far as room service goes, there is NO SERVICE at all! Most of the time, you cannot get them to answer the phone. I had to go through the front desk staff and speak with the "duty manager" to even attempt to place an order. Even so, orders took at least an hour to come and all arrived cold and incorrect. I should mention that the food was sub-mediocre. Additionally, there is NOTHING on this menu that would interest children. There are no french fries at Kidani! The pool is nice, but too small for the number of guests. There were NEVER enough lounges.
If I ever return to Disney World, I would not stay here, especially with children. This place is just not worth the money!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank mapetrozza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Alden, New York
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2011

The Hotel is lovely, the rooms are clean, but the layout is silly. Our room was a 8 minute walk from the lobby. The 1st time was sort of funny, but going to the pool, means walk to the lobby then back 1/2 to the pool 12 minutes, NUTS. We estimates that we waisted 4-5 hours of our vacation walking this ridiculous layout.
So then we go to the buffet, food was wonderful but the bill was INSANE. $174 with suggested tip for 2 adults and 2 kids NO booze. This was the Buffet!

The pool is awesome, the kids never wanted to leave, they even had movies at night for the kids to watch pool side. The life guards were so attentive. You may need bug spray for the kids, because the Savannah is right there and our kids came back the 1st night with weird bug bites.

The Room was lovely. We had a 1 bedroom, so the 2 boys slept on the pull out bed, (which we discovered later in the week that the chair was also a bed.) The Staff were amazing, friendly and helpful. The kids activities were cool. Be prepared to pay BIG bucks for drinks, a beer and a Margareta was $18 with tip.

I asked the kids what they liked most, and the answer was unanimous, "The Animals" there are animals everywhere, and really informative guides that I recommend you visit with. You will find them from time to time near the look outs. They are right from Africa and are the highlight of the hotel.
This is our first time here, next time it will be at another DVC property.

Room Tip: ask for rooms close to the lobby.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank KBleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johnson City, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
62 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2011

Husband and I recently had an amazing, but too quick, two-night visit to Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village.

This is one of Disney's timeshare resorts that is designed for longer stays, although they do allow stays as little as one night. You book through either the hotel reservation system or the DVC timeshare system. Note: If you book a hotel reservation, daily "mousekeeping" is included. If you are staying on timeshare points, your room is cleaned twice a week. Short stays on points will not have housekeeping services.

We booked a "standard studio" with one queen bed, a sleeper sofa, a large bathroom, and very small kitchenette. Our room was very close to the lobby. We were glad about that since this was just a quick trip and we didn't spend a lot of time in transit between the lobby and our room. The resort building is very large and it's possible your room could be five to ten minutes from the lobby. Our view looked out over the hotel's front entrance, which was not an issue for us as we were there to tour the parks.

Our room featured African decor that perfectly matched the decor of the lodge. I enjoyed the bed and pillows but did not like the bedspread/bed covering. It was a scratchy (polyester?) fabric that was not comfortable to snuggle under. There was a bedside alarm clock/iPod dock that we used.

Furniture included a wardrobe and dresser with flat-screen tv. We also had a sleeper sofa, table and two chairs, and a coffee table. I'm not sure where the big coffee table goes if you're using the sleeper sofa. The room was small but not cramped.

The bathroom was large and I enjoyed the shower and the sink's wide vanity. The commode is set apart in its own room within the bathroom itself. Towels were both fluffy and thirsty. Shampoo, shower gel, conditioner, and bar soap are provided.

There was a very small kitchenette with bar sink, coffee pot, toaster, small fridge, and microwave. Coffee was supplied. There were a few cabinets above and below the sink for food items. Dishes and utensils were supplied, but they were paper plates and bowls and plasticware. (I believe "real" dishes are in the larger villas.). Bowls held up in the microwave fine for our breakfast oatmeal. Coffee mugs are provided, but they are dainty little cups, so we bought jumbo mugs in the gift shop to use and take home as souvenirs (Disney's mugs are great).

The Kidani Village lobby is small, but its high ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows lead you outside to where the animals are. In addition, there are open-air public balconies just off the lobby for wildlife viewing, and there is a community room adjacent to the lobby with a fireplace and sofas for lounging.

We used Disney's bus transportation to and from the parks with no issues. We left the resort around 7am one morning, and returned well after midnight two nights.

If you're on the dining plan and have a refillable mug, there is a refill station within the hotel's lobby gift shop. There is a full-service restaurant, Sanaa, on the floor below the lobby. But for quick service you have to trek over to Mara at Jambo House (the main Animal Kingdom Lodge building). There's a great reason to visit Mara, though -- Zebra Domes, which are delicious little chocolate and liqueur truffles (also available on the Boma buffet). Jambo also houses Boma and Jiko, one of WDW's signature restaurants (i.e., pricey).

Here's a great tip: You can take a Culinary Tour of Boma & Jiko for free. At each restaurant, a hostess gives you some insight into the design and theming of the dining areas. At Boma, you learn about different African-inspired dishes on the buffet. And you get to sample food from each restaurant during the tour. Did I mention free? Ask at the Jambo or Kidani front desk or check the resort activity board for time. Reservations for the tour are not required; check in is at the Boma/Jiko podium.

The best part of Kidani Village is, by far, the animals. After checkout, we spent at least four hours on the public balcony watching the animals and relaxing. There is an animal guide stationed at the fire pit outside the lobby to answer questions and talk about the animals or their home country. The guides I met were from Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The best tip I can give you for visiting Kidani Village or Jambo House is to stay on points rented from a DVC member. You will save a *lot* of money (We paid an owner $300 for our two nights; regular hotel rates were over $400/nt at the time). There's more risk because you're not renting directly from the Mouse, but there are a lot of owners who rent out points they aren't able to use. So you help them out while getting a great bargain! There are websites available that will tell you how to do it safely. Google is your friend (try "rent dvc points"). I can't wait to return to Kidani village, but I will likely never pay cash for the privilege (unless a great deal returns on Concierge Level rooms .. hint hint Disney??)

Room Tip: Stay on DVC points rented from a member to save $$
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank xrae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2011

Kidani is one of our favorite Disney places. Every year I promise we will go to another Disney resort but then when it's time to make the reservations I have to choose Kidani.

The pools are fantastic and never seem over crowded. Games for the kids, movie nights all lots of fun. Service at the pool bar has been hit or miss but everywhere else on property it is great.

Rooms are a great size and compared to other one or two bedroom units at Disney, you get an extra bathroom and the extra space. The views are incredible.

Comparing Jambo to Kidani, Jambo is more of the large resort feel and has a lot of energy (and crowds) while Kidani is more quiet. Kidani is a large resort but does feel more intimate than Jambo. Both great places with awesome views.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank ACI120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2011

The resort is built around an animal park, and my 8 year old daughter was fascinated by the view from our room: giraffe, zebra, gazelles, antelope, ostriches -- incredible. The restaurant, Samaa, is well-run and the food is delicious. We enjoyed a castmember’s presentation on her home country of Botswana. They are already asking to return. I am not looking forward to a return visit. My disappointment with the resort was service-oriented. Many glitches in reservation system/park admission ticketing process. Very slow bell service upon check-in (only one person was working at 6pm). A hidden computer room required admission by a hotel worker in order to print a document. Rooms were very far from lobby. No wireless access after checkout even when payment was offered....

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alison90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sioux City
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2011

Our family of four (two adults & two kids, ages 4 & 6), plus two guests (adult and child, age 5) all stayed in a two-bedroom savanna view room for one week. One king and two queens in other room. We shared a common living room and kitchen area that included another full bath plus washer and dryer. Dryer came in handy on the rainy days. Very spacious. We were very fortunate to get a room close to the lobby; that allowed us to have easy access to the pool, store and front entrance. I could see how other people might complain about the walk because it is a big place. I didn't want the worry or hassle of car rental. Took the magical express which got us right to our Kidani Villa (about 30 min, stopped at two other resorts first). The view from our room was great. Animals were always viewable all day, even when it rained. We took buses to all the parks. Average wait for the bus was about 20 min. But the buses took you right to the front of all the parks and no hassle with parking a car. When we wanted to leave, we just went back to where the buses dropped us off and went back. It was pretty easy. Jambo house is the sister resort right next to the Kidani, well it takes about 7-10 min. to walk there, but there is a van that always runs between Kidani and Jambo Villas so we used that most of the time. The pool at Kidani I feel was better for younger kids, it had its own kids play area, plus the main pool with slides. Jambo pool was bigger, but a lot more adults and older kids used it. Food choices or lack thereof was definitely an issue at Kidani. They have only one restaurant which is African cuisine so my kids had an issue with it. Jambo has two fancier restaurants and one with table service that has all the same meals as every disney restaurant does, so it got old after awhile. The Bama restaurant was excellent. It was a huge buffet with enough choices and tastes for all the kids and adults to enjoy, spendy, but worth it for one night. We ordered grocieries from gardengrocer.com a couple of days before arrival. It was definitely worth it. We all had snacks and drinks and food for the kids for breakfast and dinner. By the end of the day, the kids were so worn out, they didn't want to leave anywhere to eat. So The groceries really helped out and saved money. We did not do the dining package and glad we didn't with young kids. We were not limited to staying at the resort, we could have taken buses and ate other places, but chose not to most nights. Also, be sure to buy a beverage cup from the store when you first get there, free refills on pop, coffee, etc. We definitely got our moneys worth.

We went to all the parks, one day in the tornado infested rain. We didn't get too caught up withe all the scheduling and running around like crazy. We took advantage of the early hours for resort guests and did get fast passes when we could and when it was worth it. We did not get the hopper or water park add ons. You only really need or can see one park per day with young kids. You want to make sure you spend time at the pool and relax and that is what we did when we returned from parks in early afternoons.

I would definitely do it again, especially with younger kids. When the kids get a little bit older, we'll try other resorts with more things to do within walking distance. Staff was great, with the two rain days, the staff was busy helping entertain the kids at the resort.

Room Tip: We got lucky
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank bigslimSiouxCity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
1 review
Reviewed April 9, 2011

would definetley stay again! went with my 2 kids and had lots O' fun! after a long day at Disney we came back to the hotel and crashed. comfortable beds and fun stay @ Jambo house!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Carley90210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village

Property: Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village
Address: 3701 Osceola Pkwy, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8445
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village 4*
Number of rooms: 493
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape on your own African safari adventure at this magnificent resort hotel. Inspired by the traditional African kraal, the horseshoe-curved design offers exquisite views of lush savannas-where over 30 species of African wildlife freely roam. Delight in dazzling pool areas, exciting animal programs and all the comforts of home in our spacious studios and multi-bedroom villas. ... more   less 
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Disney`s Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village Hotel Orlando

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